Piso Fare: Lessons Learned

August 17, 2012

It's the flight seat sale that everyone has been waiting for. It's the time when people rush to the website even before midnight strikes, credit cards and guest lists ready. It's Cebu Pacific's Piso Fare seat sale!

Funny thing, though. I, myself, knew nothing of the sale. Currently on night shift, I was supposed to be working from home but then had to transfer to the office, arriving minutes after midnight. I heard my teammate announce that there is a sale but he couldn't get through the overloaded website. Deadma. I was busy with work anyway. Then came 4am. I saw on my Twitter feed that a friend stopped panicking after he was able to book flights. So I tried to open the website and I was glad I did. 

You see, I've been trying many times to book every time there's a Piso Fare or any other cheap seat sales but they are always sold out. And of all the Piso Fares advertised, I'm glad this is the one I finally caught. Apparently this one's much cheaper than the previous ones because of the ZERO FUEL SURCHARGE. Yes, upon seeing these words next to the P1.00 on the available flights definitely signaled that this will be much cheaper.

First, I checked flights to Palawan. There were too many still available, about 1-3 flights per day are still on Piso Fare, unfortunately except weekends. So I went to check on Boracay flights to see if it's the same. It was not. I must have combed through every day and I couldn't find available flights. There were a few ones available, but only for one way. Since I don't really want to spend money on something that isn't on the Piso Fare sale, I decided to try my luck on an international flight and got a round trip flights for two people to Singapore for only less than P3000. Then, I tried again with Palawan. I decided to bring 7 other guests. Haha! I went to book them a flight without their knowledge. Come morning, they were all game and paid P569 each for a round trip to Puerto Princesa City.

Lesson 1: If you can't get in as early as 12 midnight, ditch the tourist spot front runner Boracay. These are the ones that get sold out first. Chances are, while you're combing through all the months, you'll lose other slots from other cities that didn't get sold out first. Although Palawan is also a tourist hotspot, there are plenty of barkadas who'd rather party in Bora than tour the serene Last Frontier. This might be why there were still plenty of seats open at that time. 

Lesson 2: If you see an international flight up for grabs, grab! When I saw that the local flights cost only that cheap, I decided to canvass how much it would cost for an international flight on Piso Fare without Fuel Surcharge. It was CHEAP, the cheapest I've ever seen, in fact. It would have even be cheaper if I didn't purchase baggage addons. For P743 per person per international flight, it is a steal!

Lesson 3: Lose the Addons. This include the baggage, in-flight meal, seats. (There is a choice to purchase addons even after the flight itinerary is already made, would anyone know if it will cost the same?) Anyhoo, while I wanted to save, I know I couldn't pack THAT light so I purchased only baggage addon just so we could be safe on getting fined for having an overweight carry-on. The Seat Selector, on the other hand, is FREE 48 hours until boarding time via Web Check-in or thru the airport check-in. Just check in earlier so you could get better seats.

Lesson 4: Book via book.cebupacificair.com. I noticed that cebupacificair.com would always get overloaded but when I registered to be a member, it redirected me to this link and I book straight from my profile. It was a lot faster. Later that day, when I checked CebuPac's Facebook page, they also advised the same thing.

Lesson 5: Have a travel booking buddy on another shift so you won't miss out. I have friend who is in a morning shift. As soon as she arrived the office, she went straight to the Cebu Pacific website. Alas, it was overloaded. I tried too, and it was the same. Morning people, get the news on seat sales later, when the seats are almost sold out. And those few seats left, they have to fight for so not only is there a lack of supply but there is an overwhelming demand, hence the overloaded servers of Cebu Pacific. (You'd think, even after the P100 Web Admin fee per flight, they'd upgrade their servers, no?) So there, to avoid missing out on traveling at low cost, look for a friend on a different working shift that will add you on their guest list by default in case of an emergency seat sale. These days, it isn't rare to have at least one.

Lesson 6: No credit card? There are plenty of payment centers! For instance, I used the BPI over-the-counter as the mode of payment. I did encounter a roadblock though. When paying, do not forget to pay only for the EXACT AMOUNT. It was a good 30-minute visit to the bank because the teller couldn't get my transactions verified. Also, transaction verification takes a lot longer than the usual deposit transactions so go to the bank early. I was so sorry for the people queuing because all three tellers were servicing Cebu Pacific seat sale payers. You know what happens when people are queuing in but no one is leaving the bank? Longer queues, of course. 

I think that sums up my first ever Piso Fare experience. It IS fun to finally be able to say "Nakapag-book ka ng Piso Fare? Finally, nakapag-book din ako!"

For inquiries, here are Cebu Pacific's call center numbers.

Manila Office:
Tel: +63-2-70-20-888
Cebu Office: 
Tel: +63-32-230-8888
Hong Kong Office:
Tel: +852-397-33800
Singapore Office: 
Tel: +65-315-80808

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  1. are there seats available during the weekends?

  2. Hello, Ms. Jennever! I also paid for Cebu Pac tickets over the counter at BPI. It's been more than 24 hours since I made my payment, pero wala pa rin akong natatanggap na itinerary. May I ask how long it took you to receive yours by email? Thanks!